US Ski and Snowboard’s Chris Corning lands quad-cork 1800 to win big air World Cup in Atlanta baseball stadium
Summit Daily News
FRISCO — Mister 1800 did it again.
Under the bright lights of the SunTrust Park baseball stadium in Atlanta, Chris Corning of Silverthorne landed a quad-cork 1800 on his final run on the 15-story scaffolding jump to win the Visa Big Air World Cup snowboarding competition Friday night.
Entering the contest, it felt like the 20-year-old Corning had 15 stories worth of pressure on his shoulders to safely land the quad-cork 1800 melon grab trick, which is at the limits of snowboarding’s physical progression. It requires Corning to invert on his vertical axis four times while rotating five full 360-degree rotations.
On Wednesday, Corning was candid that he wasn’t sure whether the jump would be big enough or safe enough to even attempt the trick, which is so massive that he doesn’t attempt it in practice. And before Friday night, Corning never had landed the trick on a big air scaffolding jump.
Big air contests typically take place on a natural ski hill — like the one at the X Games each year — or on scaffolding jumps specially built for singular events. The latter was the case Friday night, when state-of-the-art snowmaking infrastructure stood on the Braves’ infield next to the scaffolding jump.
The snow on the in-run and scaffolding landing held up well enough — in temperatures just under 50 degrees — for Corning to attempt the trick. To start the night, Corning seamlessly landed his frontside flat-spin 1440 on his opening run to fill his frontside trick quota. The run earned Corning an 82.00, which wasn’t in podium position but put him within striking distance of a win if he landed the backside quad-cork 1800 on one of his final two runs.
On his second run, Corning landed a smaller backside triple cork 1440 trick for a score of 83.25. He then went for broke on his third and final run. Corning used every inch of the in-run on the jump to create enough torque on his takeoff to safely get the trick around.
With his U.S. Snowboard teammates and competitors looking up at him in the lights, Corning kept his center of gravity tight and mustered enough force to get the final inversion around and spot his landing. It was on that landing where Corning’s strength and conditioning came into play, after working over the summer with new Dallas Stars Director of Athlete Development Nate Henry.
As Corning put his black Never Summer board to snow, he nearly toppled forward onto his face. But the goofy footer somehow held his balance on his right front foot, riding the trick out in the bottom of the corral as fans in the 40,000-seat baseball park exploded in celebration.
When Corning landed the trick, his teammates Brock Crouch and Judd Henkes erupted in celebration and amazement. Henkes, who finished in fourth place with a score of 158.25, held up four fingers and repeated, “Four! Four! Four!” alluding to Corning’s four inversions on the quad-cork.
“It was a bit of disbelief, and a lot of anxiety is relieved from this body,” Corning said on the NBC Sports Network broadcast. “It’s always super scary trying it.”
The judges awarded Corning a 95.25 for the quad-cork to catapult him into first over Canadian teen phenom Nicolas LaFramboise, who finished as runner-up with a total score of 166.75.
The win at the final World Cup big air competition of the 2019-20 FIS season also clinched Corning yet another FIS Crystal Globe, this time for the 2019-20 World Cup big air season championship.
Silverthorne resident and 2018 Pyeongchang big air silver medalist Kyle Mack finished in seventh place with a score of 120.25 after advancing out of qualifying rounds that included 44 total snowboarders. Silverthorne’s Red Gerard finished in 15th overall with a high score of 78.00 in qualifying, which required each snowboarder to land just one trick.
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